Determination of oral uptake and biodistribution of platinum and chromium by the garden snail (Helix aspersa) employing nano-secondary ion mass-spectrometry

Tanja Eybe, Jean Nicolas Audinot, Thomas Udelhoven, Esther Lentzen, Brahime El Adib, Johanna Ziebel, Lucien Hoffmann, Torsten Bohn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Environmental heavy metal contamination is a case of concern for both animal and human health. Studying the fate of metals in plant or animal tissues may provide information on pollution. In the present study, we investigated the possibility to follow the biological fate of chromium and platinum uptake in common garden snails (Helix aspersa), typically accumulating high concentrations of metals from their environment. Chromium and platinum were administered orally to snails in 5 groups (n=25/group): control, food contaminated by ca. 2.5μgg-1 and 19μgg-1 chromium and 2.5μgg-1 and 25μgg-1 platinum, for 8weeks. Following exposure, surviving snails were sacrificed, shell and remaining tissue investigated by ICP-MS, and shell, midgut gland and mantle by nano-secondary ion mass-spectrometry (Nano-SIMS). 12C14N-normalized platinum and 40Ca-normalized chromium measurements indicated highest enrichments in cellular vesicles of the midgut gland, and lower concentrations in mantle and shell, with significantly higher platinum and chromium concentrations in the 2 exposure groups vs. control (P<0.05), with somewhat differing distribution patterns for chromium and platinum. Comparable results were obtained by ICP-MS, with both chromium and platinum fed snails showing drastically elevated concentrations of metals in shell (up to 78 and 122μgg-1 dw platinum and chromium, respectively) and in other tissues (up to 200 and 1125μgg-1 dw platinum and chromium, respectively). Nano-SIMS allowed for semi-quantitative comparison of metal fate in snail tissues, making this an interesting technique for future studies in the area of environmental pollution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1829-1838
Number of pages10
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Chromium
  • ICP-MS
  • MT
  • Nano-SIMS
  • Oral uptake
  • Platinum
  • Snails


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